Four Downs: Keys to beating the Lions (10/18/15)

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A look at four keys for the Bears to beat the Detroit Lions.

1. Unleash Matt Forte

Bears running back Matt Forte has the opportunity to have a huge game this week against the NFC North rival Detroit Lions, who are ranked 27th against the run. The Lions are allowing 126.6 rushing yards per game and have allowed seven carries of at least 20-plus yards. Forte should also have success in the short passing game.

2. Get after Matthew Stafford

Don’t look now, but the Bears defense is ranked third in the NFL in pass defense after five weeks. It surprises me as much to write that as I’m sure it is for you to read it. Bear in mind, this is a team that has faced quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers, Carson Palmer and Russell Wilson, so it’s not as if they haven’t been challenged. The Bears have a good chance to get after Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and force him into some turnovers.

3. Contain Theo Riddick and Ameer Abdullah

The Lions use a trifecta of running backs including Joique Bell, Theo Riddick and rookie Ameer Abdullah. Abdullah is perhaps the most dangerous of the three, but was benched this past week for fumbling. Riddick is the back the Bears need to be wary of as he has some game-breaking ability. While the Bears’ pass defense has been pretty good this season, their run defense is ranked 24th in the league.

4. Get off to a quicker start

In the past two weeks, the Bears have had to make fourth-quarter, two-minute drives to come back and beat their opponents. While that is fun for fans to watch, it’s not the best path to success. The Bears scored 12 of their 18 points in the fourth quarter against the Chiefs last week. They need to jump out to a better start right out of the gates against the Lions and it’ll be so much easier to play with a lead.

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